Lucas Bjerregaard's Omega European Masters playoff defeat denied the BB golf team a fourth consecutive tournament winning selection, but the in-form column is still heavily in profit for the year. Here are our picks for the KLM Open...
"A useful angle this week is the links-like nature of The Dutch, for which Van Rooyen's summer form bodes particularly well. He was fourth (having blown the final day lead) in the Irish Open and contended for a long way when 17th at the Open."
*EW Terms: 1/5 Odds | 7 Places
Dave Tindall: Back Joakim Lagergren @ 50/1
Joakim Lagergren has played in both editions of the KLM Open at The Dutch and has been a leaderboard regular. In 2016 he started with a 66 to lie second after the opening lap before finishing tied 20th. And last year, rounds of 67-65 gave him the halfway lead before a pair of closing 70s left him tied ninth. While it was disappointing not to make more of those bright starts, the Swede should have more confidence now having posted his first European Tour win when landing May's Sicilian Open. After a dip, he came back with T12 in the Irish Open and T23 at the Scottish Open and it was no surprise to see him do well in those two events given his links pedigree. Lagergren has teed it up in three editions of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland and posted 12-4-4. With this week's venue having several nods to links courses, it makes sense that it's one he enjoys and a second place in the Qatar Masters (another exposed, windy track) adds to the feeling that getting 50/1 about Lagergren in conditions right up his street is good business.
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Erik van Rooyen @ 28/1
Time and again, the best emerging South Africans make an immediate impact on the European Tour. Recently we've seen that with Branden Grace and Dylan Frittelli, and the eyecatching rookie season of Erik Van Rooyen suggests he's of a similar standard. 16 starts on this tour have yielded seven top-25s and a quartet of top-ten finishes, including fifth on his penultimate start. A useful angle this week is the links-like nature of The Dutch, for which Van Rooyen's summer form bodes particularly well. He was fourth (having blown the final day lead) in the Irish Open and contended for a long way when 17th at the Open. When interviewed during that spell, he stressed how comfortable he felt playing links.
Steve Rawlings: Back Alexander Levy @ 50/1
The possibility of Ryder Cup qualification in his homeland has hung over Alexander Levy since he won the Trophée Hassan II in April and it's affected his form quite badly. On the few occasions he's moved to the fringes of contention over the summer he's performed really poorly and he did it again last week, too. After opening rounds of 67 and 68 at the Omega European Masters, he sat tied for ninth and just four off the lead but a terrible 77 on Saturday saw him tumble out of contention. If he was a steady top-20 every other week type of player that third round collapse would worry me but Levy isn't - he's an aggressive, go-for-the-win type who really wouldn't be suited to last week's venue. The signs of encouragement are there and the stress of trying to qualify has gone. He looks primed to make a big move soon and he's a tasty price this week.
Joe Dyer: Back Andrew Johnston @ 50/1
If I was a pro golfer I'd be very tempted to grow a big old beard in an attempt to muscle in on Andrew 'Beef' Johnston's no doubt chunky sponsorships and endorsements. Generally speaking, the clown prince of the European Tour receives more attention than his golf deserves but this might be a week when his play backs up the screen time. An accurate type with good scrambling skills, Beef should find The Dutch rewards his strengths. My selection has played a light schedule this year but his appearances have been ramped up recently, starting with a tie for 10th back at the Nordea Masters and hopefully that has helped him gain the rhythm to put in a strong showing.
Mike Norman: Back Thomas Detry @ 40/1
I'm a firm believer in rating current form as one of the most important aspects to making a golf selection - of course, that means my picks will rarely be 100/1+ hidden gems like some of the brilliant selections you see on these pages - and by the same token I'm just as happy to forgive one bad performance. Young Thomas Detry fits the bill on both counts this week after a string of fine efforts were followed by a missed cut in Switzerland last week. Detry started 2018 with a couple of strong performances in the desert (T9 in Abu Dhabi and T22 in the Dubai Desert Classic) which bodes well for this week's test given the 'linksy' feel, and he has remained consistent throughout the year, stepping up his form in recent weeks to record three consecutive top-15 finishes. His T7 in Denmark a fortnight ago could easily have been a win - he was bang in contention with just a few holes to play - and you sense that it won't be long before the 25-year-old Belgian grabs his maiden victory on the European Tour. At an industry-best 40/1, I'm happy to take a chance on it being this week.
2018 Season P/L to date: + £902.83
- Omega European Masters, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 28/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Made In Denmark, Matt Wallace @ 33/1 - WIN (Mike)
- Made In Denmark, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 40/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Czech Masters, Andrea Pavan @ 50/1 - WIN (Joe)
- Czech Masters, Lee Slattery @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- US PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka @ 20/1 - WIN (Dave)
- US PGA Championship, Gary Woodland @ 125/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- WGC-Bridgestone, Brooks Koepka @ 25/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- The Open, Tiger Woods @ 30/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Scottish Open, Ryan Fox @ 45/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Irish Open, Russell Knox @ 28/1 - WIN (Dave)
- BMW International Open, Matt Wallace @ 33/1 - WIN (Steve)
- BMW International Open, Martin Kaymer @ 33/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- Italian Open, Lee Westwood @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- BMW PGA Championship, Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Belgian Knockout, Benjamin Hebert @ 50/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Belgian Knockout, Jorge Campillo @ 28/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Rocco Forte Open, Lucas Herbert @ 125/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Golf Sixes, South Korea @ 16/1 - PLACE (Steve & Paul)
- Volvo China Open, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 200/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- US Masters, Bubba Watson @ 16/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Hero Indian Open, Andrew Johnston @ 33/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Oman Open, Jorge Campillo @ 40/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Maybank Championship, Shubhankar Sharma @ 60/1 - WIN (Joe)
- Dubai Desert Classic, Alex Levy @ 50/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Abu Dhabi Championship, Matthew Fitzpatrick @ 40/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- UBS Hong Kong Open, Paul Peterson @ 80/1 - PLACE (Paul)